Tuesday, June 01, 2010

World Cup Gravy Train: Chocolate, razors and electric showers

With the World Cup only days away, it's fair to say that many products will try to cash in simply by slapping a St George's flag on their packaging and hoping for the best. This is a tactic which can work well if done correctly, and today we look at three such products.

As we mentioned last time, food manufacturers find it all too easy to vie for your attention at times like this and the good old Mars bar is doing exactly that – this time by changing its wrapper from black to a fetching white with a red cross. Four years ago, they simply changed the word 'Mars' to 'Believe' to ram home their campaign of the same name but this time they're flying the flag and getting John Barnes to re-enact his World In Motion video on their TV advertising campaign.

All of which is fair enough (apart, perhaps, from John Barnes' singing) as Mars are the Official Snack Supplier to the England football team, but Gillette – an official partner of the World Cup itself – have adopted an altogether less committed approach. Rush out to your supermarkets now and you'll find their range of Fusion razors now sports a small-to-the-point-of-almost-being-an-afterthought England badge on the handle.

Quite to what extent such a small detail is likely to make your average stubble-chinned man in the street part with his £5 we're not quite sure. All we know is the big American brand appears to have lost its sense of bravado having been lumbered with the two sporting non-entities of Thierry Henry and Tiger Woods plastered all over its promotional materials.

Finally, when it comes to buying something decorated with a St George's cross to put you in the mood for the World Cup, what would be top of your list?  A jacket?  A rug for your front room carpet?  Why no – you'll surely be thinking of obtaining an England shower unit, will you not?

Yes, such a thing does exist and it can be yours for just £369. The Mira limited-edition St George electric shower has thermostatic temperature stability technology built in, reduces limescale build up by half or more than its rivals and also plays God Save The Queen in the event of England winning the World Cup. Actually we lied about that last bit, but we've contacted the manufacturers and they've said they're going to build it into their next design.

So there you have it – when there's a World Cup around the corner and you've got a product to flog, package it for the unbeatably partisan English market and slap a cross of St George all over it. Providing you don’t use Tiger Woods in your ad campaign, it'll have half a chance of selling.

2 comments:

Terry said...

"and also plays God Save The Queen in the event of England winning the World Cup. Actually we lied about that last bit"

I should say so. It's Jerusalem isn't it?

Chris O said...

Well it was either that or 'It's Raining Sven...'

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